F Simple and Serene Living: March 2014 09 10
Monday, March 31, 2014

follow your happy

I woke up feeling particularly happy this morning. The birds were singing. They are as happy as I am that spring has finally arrived. The next few days will bring temps in the low 70's, and that means lots of blossoms are sure to pop out. My nasty cold is finally subsiding and hopefully I won't get another one for four or five more years. I am selling things in my new antique booth. My Kentucky Wildcats basketball team is headed to the final four. I have an auction to go to today and there is a particular piece of furniture I have my eye on. 

Lots of things to be happy about. The greatest thing about following your happy is that you never know where it is going to take you, but if you release your need to control it the universe sends you just what you need. 

I found this Birds On The Wires video and fell in love with it. Jarbas Agnelli made a song using the exact location of the birds as musical notes. Isn't nature amazing?

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Saturday, March 29, 2014


Yesterday as I was puttering around the house, trying to breathe through all this stuffiness I happened to look outside. I mean really look outside. Yes, I had looked out several times earlier, but apparently I wasn't paying attention, because after the rain cleared out we were left with a carpet of green punctuated by little white flowers. Overnight, the stark brown winter lawns had been replaced by beautiful green springy ones. How could I have missed it.

It was just the nudging I needed to race (okay race might be stretching it) around the house throwing open doors and windows. Ahh!!! spring air. 

OUCH!!! Seriously?? did I already get a bug bite? Is that anyway to start off this season of bliss? That unwanted intruder was quickly dispensed with (okay I had to chase it around like crazy woman for awhile) back into his outside world.

I really couldn't breathe after all of that pseudo exercise so I decided to weed through my photos. (That would be the reason that these photos don't actually have anything to do with what I am saying) I thought it was probably a good idea to let you know that, because you were probably thinking I had been drinking too much cough syrup. 

Oh wait, that one actually has open windows. How terribly clever of me. (total fluke)

Isn't it amazing how some green grass and a warm day can lift your spirits. Promising you that there are better things ahead. That soon you will be digging in the warm earth and smelling freshly cut grass. That flowers from your garden will be decorating your table. That sandals and shorts will replace heavy coats and boots. That the cycle of life continues on.

I hope wherever you are that spring is starting to show up at your house, too. 

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Friday, March 28, 2014


A heavy spring rain is washing my window panes this morning. I love its sound as I drink my morning cup of tea. 

I sit and think about the days ahead. Days that will bring more spring rains, but also days that are warmer. 

Days to get out and explore country roads again. To go to places where I may have never been.

To smell the sweet aromas of spring and to know that what has been a world lacking in color is bursting forth again. 

Oh, the promises are there. I can feel them working there way into my soul, giving me renewed energy. 

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

oh for goodness sake

Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments you left on my post taking care of mom. Mom was released from the hospital yesterday and is back in her apartment. She is still suffering from nausea, but I am hoping we can get to the bottom of that soon. I was unable to stay with her because I came down with a bad cold yesterday and I am staying home and resting today. I definitely don't want Mom to get it. I very rarely get colds, but I imagine the stress and hanging out in a hospital full of germs did me in. They will bring her all of her meals from the dining room where she lives and check on her. I am grateful that she is there. 

Now on to the oh for goodness sake things.

Although the crocus and the daffodils are blooming this is actually a photo from last year. The grass is not green and in fact yesterday morning it and the flowers were covered with a layer of snow. Spring is definitely slow in showing its face this year. The trees outside my bedroom window are valiantly trying to put forth their green leaves, but I think they are shivering as they do so. 

For the last week I have noticed a lot of spam showing up in the inbox of my Yahoo email account. So, I wondered what was going into my spam folder. Surprise!! Surprise!! I found all the notifications of your blog posts there. Yahoo in its infinite wisdom kind of got things backwards. I have actually been cleaning up my email account, because I am getting so many requests for political donations. I hate weeding through all of that to get to the emails I actually want. Now I will have to remember to check my spam folder regularly.

Also, Google+ keeps reverting me to a no reply blogger. I will try and remember to keep checking on that too. So many things to do and so little time, but today I am resting. Maybe I'll just read and watch a movie. Sounds like the perfect day to me.

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

taking care of mom

I had my day all planned out Friday. Get up, answer all your wonderful comments, work.....

At 5:45 in the morning my phone rang. It was my mom saying the ambulance was coming to take her to the hospital. I jumped up, woke up my sister, threw on some clothes, and headed out. 

We had been down this road several times in the last year. My mom having chest pains and nausea and nothing showing up. This time we finally got to the bottom of it. She has a stone the size of a hen's egg blocking her bile duct. Yes, she had her gall bladder out many years ago, but she still forms stones. 

The stone was too large to remove without surgery and they considered her too high risk, at age 89, for that. So they decided to put her under general anesthesia and put in a stent. Before they took her back the doctor told me that it was possible she might not survive the procedure. So I kissed her, told her I loved her, and said she would be fine. 

Then I prayed and for the next hour I thought back on the relationship I have had with my mother. For most of my life it has not been easy. She resented me from the time I was born, for reasons I will not go into here. She has said many cruel things to me in the past, but I have forgiven her and moved into the present. She is almost 90 years old and she needs someone she can rely on. That someone is me. 

We have many decisions to make and many things to take care of. The stent will not last forever so we have to decide a plan of action. There are also legal things we need to take care of and plans that need to be discussed for the end of her life. These are not easy things to do, but as we age so do our parents. They are no longer our caretakers, we are theirs. 

I know that many of you are also dealing with the care and loss of your parents. My father passed away almost 18 years ago. I still miss him. I'm not sure that missing ever goes away. I am hoping that my mom will be with us for a good while longer. That we will have more quality time together. 

I have asked God many times over the last few years why he keeps sending me back to Kentucky when I obviously have wanted to be somewhere else. I think I have my answer. Being here is as much for my healing as for hers. 

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

transformations...continuing the talk


Thank you all so much for your contributions to the discussion on aging yesterday.

First of all, I want to say that if anyone has had a nip or a tuck to make themselves feel better then I am more than supportive of you. We all have our ways to make ourselves feel better with how we look and feel. For me, I try to eat a healthy diet, I dress in ways that make me feel good, and I wear light makeup. 

What I do have a problem with is how the fixation our society has on youth is affecting what many women do to their bodies. 

When my daughter was working in Hollywood as a child I observed the way aging women were treated in the film industry. It was as if they were being told "shame on you for not staying young, for allowing your face to age, and your body to change." There were very few roles for these women. Beautiful talented women were being tossed aside and to compensate they mutilated their faces with bad face lifts. They became unrecognizable. They lost who they were. 

That fixation with youth has carried over into mainstream society and I hate how it affects the self esteem of women as they age. All women are beautiful and I do mean ALL women. Our faces tell our stories. Our smiles, our frowns, our wrinkles are all a part of who we are. 

There are many of us in this blogging world who are older, more seasoned women. It is up to us to change the way aging women are treated. We must band together to let younger women know that aging in itself is not a disease. It is not something to be ashamed of. If we learn to embrace the changes in our bodies then we will serve as role models for the women who come after us. 

That can only be a good thing.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

through others' eyes

Yesterday was one of those days. I was out of sorts. My legs ached. My eyes hurt. I was tired and just plain cranky. I was feeling my age. 

There is no denying the fact that I am 63 years old, and although most of the time I still feel like I am 20 on the inside my body tells me something different. I am aging and with that aging comes changes that are both physical and emotional. 

We live in a society that judges people by their youth and their physical appearance. This is especially true for women. Let's face it. Ageism is alive and well, and it affects our self esteem. We are often ignored. Younger people look through us as if we don't exist. We are denied jobs. 

My eyes have been hurting.....a lot. I am going to the opthalmologist in a couple of weeks and I know that I am going to have to get glasses. Glasses that I may have to wear all of the time instead of just for reading.My first thought was "boys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses" Where in the world did that come from? It was buried somewhere from my childhood. 

I wonder to myself why I care so much about my aging looks. My grandmothers looked like grandmothers. They wore sensible shoes, their hair was gray, and they didn't seem to worry about what others thought of their appearance. They seemed happy with their aging selves. Would they have been as accepting of their aging if they lived in today's youth oriented society?

I thought my grandmothers were perfect. I saw them through my child's eyes. Yesterday as I slogged through my day, my phone rang. It was my own 8 year old granddaughter. She called to tell me about the exciting things that are going on in her life, and before she hung up she told me she loved me. It made me think that maybe, through her eyes, I look perfect. 

Smiling, I went to pump gas, and as I was filling the tank a very nice looking man looked over and smiled at me. 

Hmmmmm!!!! Maybe this aging process isn't so bad after all, but maybe I should just know that it isn't all about seeing myself through other's eyes, but liking who I am through my own eyes. 

P.S. You should also check out Claudia at Mockingbird Hill's post on the stranger looking back at her in the mirror. You can read it here.

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Sunday, March 16, 2014

lazy day

I started out very gung ho early this morning. Got up cleaned the kitchen, cleaned out the refrigerator, made my green juice and fixed a lovely breakfast. 

After that I don't know what happened. I think the busy last couple of weeks caught up with me. I went back to bed and slept two hours. I never do that, but I guess I must have needed it. 

When I woke I could hear the sound of freezing rain hitting my windows. What a change from yesterday. It was 64 degrees and I took a walk to enjoy the warm day. Winter just doesn't seem to want to let go of its icy grip just yet. 

But yesterday there was this.

Oh little purple crocus how you made my heart sing. What joy there was to see your beautiful face.

As I returned home I saw that the tulips were three inches out of the ground. 

So, Old Man Winter, you can have your last bit of fun, because you won't last long. Tuesday the temperature will climb back up to 60 degrees and I will be on the hunt for some daffodils.

Spring officially arrives in four days and I cannot wait to shut the door on winter.

I hope you are seeing some signs of spring, too. 

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Thursday, March 13, 2014

transformations....healing yourself

Where do you believe healing comes from?

I know people who believe that every pain or symptom should be treated with a new medication. 

I believe this can be a way to cover up the source of the pain, whether it is physical or emotional. It can be a way to tell yourself "if I don't feel the pain then I won't have to recognize it". It is a part of avoidance, and although it may mask the pain, the pain may come rushing back more intensely than it originally was. 

So how do we find healing within ourselves? How do we reach down inside of ourselves and find the source of the healing that we need? 

For each of us the source may be different, but I do think that a belief that healing is possible is a very important first step. When I was doing my training to become a counselor we learned about the placebo effect. Why is it that some people are healed when given a placebo? I believe that it is because they firmly believe that what they are being given will cure them. It is mind over matter. 

Some people find healing through prayer or meditation. Some people believe in the old "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" approach. I'm going to be healed no matter what. 

We all must listen to our bodies. What is our body telling us it needs to heal? Those aches and pains, those feelings of sadness or frustration are there to give us a message. 

Each person's journey is different. I can't explain why some people get miracles and others don't. We are all here to learn something, and no one should ever blame themselves if they do not heal.

I am not a medical professional, and I am not advocating that anyone give up western medicine. I am coming from the perspective of a counselor, and as someone who believes in a combination of western and eastern healing. 

Finding healing within myself is a personal journey. It is one I work on daily. 

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

mother nature is teasing us again

A first taste of spring. The air has warmed and the sun is shining.

I set out for a walk to enjoy a long awaited warm day before another brief winter blast hits tomorrow.

I can't wait to see the flowers start to bloom.

Yesterday I started thinking about things that really make my heart sing, and at the top of the list was roaming through flowers in the summer. 

I used to love winter. There was ice skating, tobogganing, and building snowmen. Those days are gone and I have found I don't take joy in winter the way I used to. 

What I long for is wading through rocky bed creeks.

To get out and explore the back roads of Kentucky again. To find hidden treasures. To find inspiration for my photography.

Life seems to somehow stand still for me in the winter. Maybe these older bones just don't take well to the cold anymore.

Things are still brown here, but I know the daffodils are hiding beneath the earth, just waiting to make their appearance, and when they do I will welcome them, because to me they are the harbingers of spring. 

P.S. Thanks so much to everyone who was concerned about my x rays. I have been having pain in my knee that was replaced last year and it got so bad last week I couldn't walk down the stairs. They x rayed it and it is fine. It is scar tissue breaking up. Probably from all of the lifting I have been doing getting my booth set up. He said that could happen for awhile, but when it gets broken up it will allow further movement in the knee. So that will be a good thing.

P.P.S. I have hopefully fixed my no reply blogger problem, and am back on Google Plus again. I guess I will have to check it once a week as it seems to keep happening to me. Thanks to Nana Diana for letting me know. 

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Sunday, March 9, 2014


I woke up feeling a little dizzy this morning. That always happens when I spring forward in the night.

My grandmother's old mantle clock stopped ticking awhile ago, but phones, computers, and cable TV boxes magically spring forward on their own. It keeps me from forgetting that I am suddenly an hour older. 

That's okay, because I will get that hour back next fall.

In the meantime, spring will officially arrive in 11 days, and that has me thinking all kinds of springy, sproingy things. 

It will stay lighter later. Flowers will start to bloom. Spring cleaning and the airing out of the house will commence. Hats, boots, gloves, and big old coats will get put back in the closet. Cropped pants and sandals will appear. 

I am ready for it all. 


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Friday, March 7, 2014

sigh and oops

Have you ever noticed how time can just get away from you? SIGH!!!

That is how my week has been. I have been running behind the whole week. I had an early doctor's appointment today. I scheduled it for 8 o'clock so that I could get back and get lots of work done. Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans. I had to go over for x rays and then I had to wait and then I had to wait some more. Suddenly it seemed like the whole morning was gone. 

No problem. I came home and started to write my transformations on a Thursday post. That's where the OOPS came in. I suddenly realized I had skipped right on over Thursday and landed in Friday.

It has been one of those weeks. I think the bad weather may have thrown me off. Sunday's auction was cancelled, then Monday's auction, and finally Thursday's auction. 

Don't these people know that this is how I keep track of what day it is? 

Well, I think things are going to turn around. The weather is warming up and tonight's auction is a go. It's 56 degrees out and just like the witch in The Wizard of Oz, the snow is melting, melting.....

Maybe my brain will also come out of its deep freeze and I will once again be able to answer questions such as "Do you know today's date?" correctly. Let's face it, I have been insisting that it is June for weeks now. It was my only defense.

P.S. If you are wondering why this is getting posted so late, it is because right when I was getting ready to finish it I realized it was an hour later than I thought, and I was late for the auction. SIGH and OOPS!!!

P.P.S. And if you are wondering about the bottle photos, I was psyching myself up to find some more old bottles and I did. No sighs or oops there.

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

getting in the groove

Sometimes I feel like life is all about getting in the groove. Figuring things out. Finding your place. Hitting your stride.

Although Phil Collins was talking about music, I feel like this applies to anything in life. 

Whenever I have moved to a new place, started a new job, gone back to school, or begun a new endeavor, I feel like it has taken me a while to find my place. 

I am not one of those people who magically fits into a new situation, who knows exactly what to do, who to talk to, where to get the best information, or how to find my way.

I have to feel my way, bang it out, find my groove. 

That is what happened when I started selling on Etsy. It is how I have been finding my voice on this blog. It is what I am doing now with my new booth. 

I am finding my place. Learning what to sell and how to price it. It takes time, but I am patient. 

It's all about getting in the groove.

How do you go about getting in the groove? Does it take you time, too?

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Monday, March 3, 2014

it's my plan.....

and I'm sticking to it.

The city, county, and state may have their emergency preparedness plans, but I have my own.

They say stay in your homes.The roads are bad because the state is running out of salt. If you have to travel make sure you have blankets, flashlights, water, etc. 

While all of these things are important, I have initiated my own emergency preparedness plan. 

My window shades are closed, my ceiling fan is whirring overhead, and I'm sipping a cold drink in my cropped pants and sandals. I will emerge in approx. three days.

So, let Old Man Winter do his thing. He can howl and blow. He can toss down freezing rain and snow. It won't bother me, because it's spring in my house.

And if you don't believe me I have the tulips growing to prove it.

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